* Ludovic Courtès <l...@gnu.org> [2020-02-09 23:39]: > Hi Benno, > > Benno Schulenberg <bensb...@telfort.nl> skribis: > > > Anyway... I've carefully read https://wiki.gnu.tools/gnu:social-contract > > (Last modified: 2020/01/22 11:55), and here are my comments. > > Thanks for taking the time to read it and to comment it.
Benno and others shall take into consideration that the website gnu.tools is not authorized by GNU project, and that GNU project already rejected the "Social Contract", and that Ludovic Courtès is not authorized to speak on behalf of the GNU project. > > Please don't call the document a Social Contract. The first sentence says: > > "These are the core commitments of the GNU Project...". In other words: > > these are promises. A better title for the document would be: > > > > The GNU Promises > > I agree these are promises. I personally find the name “Social > Contract” clear, but perhaps the context is missing: it is a reference > to Rousseau’s Social Contract¹, and the phrase has since been used > broadly to designate documents that are a collective pledge or set of > promises (an example is Debian’s Social Contract). > > I think “social contract” accurately defines the document, but “GNU > Pledge” or similar would also work I guess, although it does not have > the nice effect of making it clear that it’s a social construct. > > ¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract The context of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "Social Contract" does not fit into GNU project. GNU project is about free software philosophy and does implies liberties for users. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "Social Contract" is about taking away liberties from citizens and applies methods of running governments. GNU project is private, founded by and governed by RMS and delegation given by RMS to other people, and is not a governed by users or citizens. Reference to: https://www.gradesaver.com/the-social-contract/study-guide/summary Number one, I am trying here to clarify it, so that public does not get further deceived by Courtès writings -- so by priority, this is not a "social" contract in any sense, as Ludovic is coercing the specific society to agree to set of policies his small group is imposing onto others -- thus it is not a "social", and also not in the sense how Jean-Jacques Rousseau envisioned it. Quote from https://www.gradesaver.com/the-social-contract/study-guide/summary "Rousseau begins The Social Contract with the notable phrase "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains." Because these chains are not found in the state of nature, they must be constructions of convention. Rousseau thus seeks the basis for a legitimate, political authority in which people must give up their natural liberty." GNU project was never about making any kind of political authority over people, and it is and never will be imposing to people to give up their natural liberty. Thus in the context of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "Social Contract", people reading the non-authorized writings of Ludovic Courtès shall know what he actually wants -- for people to give up their liberties to do, to speak, to be what they want to be, while contributing to the GNU project. Comparison of 2 different stances between GNU and Ludovic Courtès: ================================================================== GNU project's stance is that everybody is welcome to contribute regardless of who they are, what they speak in public, what they are in their private lives. Ludovic Courtés "Social Contract" would like to coerce people to behave nicely, so for him, it would be so that small group of people who have decision powers and who are controlling the "Social Contract" would then be deciding who have breached the "contract" and who not. For example, of person like RMS would defend his friend at campus to be innocent, and if media would pick it up to sell news for money, he would like to expell such person for "bad behavior". Ludovic already declared publicly his intentions. But RMS by contrast, does not expell Ludovic Courtès for his indecent public shamings of the RMS and the damage to GNU project. This is because the purpose of the GNU project is more important than the behavior of its participants, because distribution of free software is more important than the behavior of its participants. By contrast "Social Contract" would like to police the behavior of its participants, but that was never the stance of GNU project, it is contrary, GNU project allows participants to do what they wish and will never publicly shame them -- unless they are proprietary software vendors or otherwise companies or proprietary software producers stamping onto the freedom. Quote from: https://www.gradesaver.com/the-social-contract/study-guide/summary "Rousseau asserts that the establishment of government is not, as philosophers such as Hobbes and Grotius have argued, a contract. The sovereign employs the government as a representative of the people in charge of carrying out the general will. The sovereign thus can alter the form of government and replace its leaders as it chooses. " Ludovic Courtès stance is following, because he and his few people who support him, think that RMS have done something wrong, it is in their "authority" to expell the RMS, so for this reason, to ensure that it becomes possible in future to expell people from GNU project, they are making up their "social contract". This is because the "sovereign" society should be able to replace its leaders. But RMS is not a leader of any citizens, he is founder of the GNU project, and GNU project is not a government, and is not representing people's will. If RMS would be representing people's will, he would probably now be CEO of Apple or something like that, and even that would not be people's true will, it would be artificially imposed will, as Apple does marketing to cause people to agree with Apple, so that they can sell more of abusive iPhones -- then one can say, that is what people want. Definition of the word "usurpation" from WordNet: * Overview of noun usurpation The noun usurpation has 2 senses (no senses from tagged texts) 1. trespass, encroachment, violation, intrusion, usurpation -- (entry to another's property without right or permission) 2. usurpation -- (wrongfully seizing and holding (an office or powers) by force (especially the seizure of a throne or supreme authority); "a succession of generals who ruled by usurpation") GNU project is not governed by society, yet members of society are free to contribute to GNU project. What Ludovic Courtès and few of his supporters are doing is usurpation of the GNU project, they would like to hold power in GNU project. They are making meetings how to do that, making public statements, wrongfully and fraudulently misrepresenting the GNU project and thus deceiving the public. > > to new threats to users' freedom as they arise." I applaud an organization > > that takes it upon itself to respond to such threats, but I as an individual > > maintainer cannot and will not make any such promise. > > Right, I think this is a collective pledge: this is what we members want > the project to promise. Do you think the individual/collective > distinction needs to be clarified? It is not collective pledge, as that text is not made by collective. The "Social Contract" by Ludovic Courtès implies coercion over other people, which is contrary to anything that GNU project was promoting in its philosophy. Contributors to GNU project are individually deciding to contribute, thus GNU project by its principles is on ground of "individualism" and not "collectivism". There are fewer groups and projects in this world based on individualism and GNU project is one of those. Reference: https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-collectivism-and-vs-individualism/ GNU project considers individual decision making. It does not impose neither coerce onto individuals any decisions or rules. It gives to individuals a chance to decide themselves. > > It continues: "which works with companion free software projects that > > develop key components of the GNU System". Oof... Who are those > > "companion free software projects"? How can such projects "that > > develop key components of the GNU System" not be part of the GNU > > project itself? In short: what does this want to say? Where is the > > promise here? > > The goal is to acknowledge that GNU is not the only free software > provider, and that the GNU Project (socially) and the GNU System > (technically) has to work with these other free software projects. > > The promise is that of working hand in hand with free software projects > that are natural allies and/or develop tools that GNU relies on. It’s > about being a “good citizen.” Reference: https://www.gradesaver.com/the-social-contract/study-guide/criticisms-of-social-contract-theory ""We Shall Force them to be Free." Rousseau's famous statement in The Social Contract has been called into question by a number of critics who believe that the idea of "force" negates the requirement that a contract be entered into voluntarily. Contract theory - as distinct from social contract theory - permits individuals to abstain from entering into a contract. Rousseau, however, holds that even individuals who disagree with elements of the social contract must nevertheless agree to abide by it or risk punishment. This perspective, however, ignores the fact that social contract theory is more of a philosophy than an actual contract, and is thus not held to the same standards. " Contrary to that, GNU project never forced people to be free, it gave the philosophical foundation for free software, and individuals decided themselves to join, participate, distribute, study, program the free software. GNU project has its free software philosopher which is Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman, and other contributing free software philosophers -- and need not abide to any "context" of the middle aged Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy that damages individual freedoms. > There’s been several occasions in the past where GNU drove away some of > its allies, or was perceived as failing to acknowledge the technical > importance of other free software components. As I see it, this promise > is a way to rectify that. You are free to contribute to any of those projects. Yet, please stop coercing people and deceiving people. > WDYT? Can you think of a way to reword it to clarify this? > > > And then: "The GNU Project aims to extend the reach of free software to > > new fields." Huh? What new "fields"? Again: what is the promise here? > > Is it that we intend to assimilate everything? > > The idea I think is that GNU is not tied to a specific set of > application domains and includes packages of any field—compilers, > astronomy tools, math software, etc. It was never tied, and please do not introduce fears, uncertainties and doubts. Best would be that you found your own free software project, and continue with your social projects, but stop with disrespect and misrepresentation of the GNU project. For example, you can call your free software project "Ludofree" and make your domain ludofree.tools and promote your free software. But stop with usurpation of the GNU project, as you are not authorized to speak on behalf of it. > There probably lacks a transition from the previous sentence though. > > Any wording you would suggest? What Ludovic is here basically asking, and he is intelligent, is for people to participate in the usurpation of the GNU project, and he knows it well. Any time this small group of people get a comment on their social contract that means that they are getting more and more kudos on the splitting and division of GNU project. As Ludovic Courtès Social Contract was already rejected by RMS, best would be to stop that discussion on this mailing list, it is not relevant here. Ludovic can setup his own mailing list and speak what he wish, but using this mailing list for the usurpation of the project is disrespect and using resources of GNU for his middle aged French philosophical purposes on how to coerce community into his mind frame. > > The fourth section says: "The GNU Project wants to give everyone the > > opportunity of contributing to its efforts..." To me this sounds as if > > the GNU project will not put any hurdles and conditions in people's way > > before they can contribute. But in practice the GNU project requires > > that significant contributors sign a copyright assignment, and that > > translators sign a copyright disclaimer. I think that these two things > > make the GNU project quite unwelcoming to possible contributors. So, > > in my opinion, that sentence is rather untruthful. > > Note that copyright assignment has always been optional; a number of GNU > packages do not have copyright assignment at all, but for those that do, > contributors are indeed required to sign an assignment form. > > To me this is more of a policy issue and beyond the scope of this > document. > > Thanks for your feedback! I guess we’ll incorporate some of your > suggestions in the coming days. (Note that the wiki contents can be > accessed through Git: > <https://wiki.gnu.tools/git/gnu-tools-wiki/tree/pages/gnu>.) > > Ludo’. I am sorry, but your "incorporating" of some of the suggestions, are not authorized by GNU project, and please stop speaking like you are authorized. -- Thanks, Jean Louis